Department of Pathology, Erasmus Hospital

   

 

 

PROJECTS:

 

I) Identification of morphological and immunohistochemical biomarkers in oncology

Identification of biomarkers related to angiogenesis in oncology

Role of IGF-IIR/Man-6-P in angiogenesis

Glioblastomas (GBM) are the most common and aggressive primary malignant brain tumours in adults. One of their histopathological hallmarks is the microvascular proliferation. This led to the development of anti-angiogenesis targeted therapies against VEGF which is the major actor of angiogenesis in all tumours. Unfortunately, resistance towards these anti-VEGF therapies has been well described. One of the hypotheses to explain this resistance is the activation/upregulation of other signaling pathways.  Insulin-like growth factor-II/Mannose-6-phosphate receptor (IGFIIR/Man-6-P) is a receptor that belongs to the insulin like growth factor (IGF) system. The involvement of IGF-IIR/Man-6-P in the process of angiogenesis has been suggested in some rare studies. There are, however, no data on a potential role of IGF-IIR/Man-6-P in the neovascularisation of human GBM. We study a possible involvement of IGF-IIR/Man-6-P in the process of angiogenesis using human GBM and other cancer samples, their normal counterparts and in vitro models.

Role of myofibroblasts in the recurrence of rectal cancer treated by neoadjuvant

radiochemotherapy

Characterization of peritumoral stromal cells in in-situ and invasive breast carcinoma.

  

II) Identification of molecular biomarkers in oncology

Impact of Molecular Screening by Next Generation Sequencing in Management of Patients with Thyroid Nodules

Unnecessary surgery for patients with cytologically indeterminate thyroid nodule after fine-needle aspiration (FNA), but later found to be benign remains a substantial health-care problem. Clinical, immunohistochemical or molecular variables have been proposed to characterize the benign versus malignant nature of thyroid nodules. Many molecular markers could offer diagnostic information for thyroid lesions. Recently, a new technology, next generation sequencing (NGS), has emerged for gene panel sequencing. FNA specimens can be analyzed by NGS, although this approach needs further improvement to be integrated in daily practice. We propose to evaluate the additive contribution brought by molecular characterization in the diagnosis of indeterminate FNA. We are developing a NGS gene panel in order to offer a testing covering the main molecular alterations observed in thyroid cancer. We plan to submit clinical, cytological and molecular data to decision tree methods in order to develop an algorithm for surgical indication of patients with indeterminate FNA.

 

Molecular classification of gliomas

Gliomas and Glioblastomas (GBMs) exhibit considerable variability in biological behavior, resulting in significant differences in terms of prognosis and response to treatment. In an attempt to better understand the biology of GBM, many groups have performed high-scale profiling studies based on gene or protein expression. These studies have revealed the existence of several GBM subtypes. Although there remains to be a clear consensus, two to four major subtypes have been identified. Interestingly, these different subtypes are associated with both differential prognoses and responses to therapy. In the present project, we plan to investigate an alternative approach to achieve a molecular classification for gliomas and GBM using immunohistochemistry and targeted next generation sequencing.

 

HPV genotyping and characterization in anogenital and ORL lesions (in collaboration with the Belgian HPV reference center)